Imran Khan (centre back) witnesses the first Chinese-made coronavirus vaccine being administered to a frontline health worker in Islamabad on Tuesday. AFP
Gulf Today Report
A doctor became the first person in Pakistan to get a dose of COVID-19 vaccine as the country launched its COVID-19 vaccine drive on Tuesday.
At a ceremony in the capital attended by Prime Minister Imran Khan the authorities began a nationwide inoculation campaign starting with health workers.
Around 500,000 doses of vaccine produced by Sinopharm and donated by China had arrived in Pakistan on a military flight on Monday.
"I congratulate my team...I will tell all the health workers that it is necessary for them to get vaccinated because they are the ones who are most exposed to risk," Khan said in an address during the televised ceremony.
Vaccines were being transported around the South Asian country and will begin to be administered in areas outside the capital Islamabad on Wednesday, according to the federal agency overseeing the pandemic response.
Pakistan has also been pledged 17 million doses of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine under a global scheme to deliver coronavirus treatments to developing nations.
About 6 million doses will arrive by the end of March under the COVAX scheme, with the remainder due by mid-year, the government's main health adviser said last week.
Pakistan, a country of 220 million people, reported 1,220 new infections and 63 deaths over the latest 24 hours, taking the total number of cases to 547,648, with 11,746 deaths.
The drive will begin with a focus on the oldest people in the community, generally over the age of 80, Health Minister Faisal Sultan said. "We will work our way down in coming days," Health Minister Faisal Sultan said.
The move was in response to measures designed to help slow a Delta variant-fuelled surge in infections that has put pressure on Pakistan's poor health infrastructure as queues for inoculations stretched more than a kilometre in some locations this week.
All players, officials and staff have moved into a hub in a five-star hotel in Islamabad, the PCB said, and "are now allowed to interact with each other and move freely within the bio-secure bubble.”
"Dubai is an open cosmopolitan city, one that allows different nationalities and cultures to live in harmony and exchange expertise and innovations. We are living in a great era that enables us to show off our talent...," she said.
The basic health screening with 47 tests include CBC, uric acid, diabetic screening with HBA1C, estimated blood glucose, liver screening with ALT, AST, GGT, alkaline phosphatase, total protein, total bilirubin, lipid profile and different kidney tests.
The NCM appealed to the public to be careful and exercise caution while driving during the rain, as well as when the horizontal visibility is not clear, due to rain and winds that raise dust and dirt.